Oculus Rift, Day One – Reviews of Reviews

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So yesterday was the day in which Kickstarter backers of the Oculus Rift began receiving their rewards.  Yesterday also marked the day in which the most reviews ever for the virtual reality headset were published.  We thought that instead of you guys having to read each and every one of the reviews posted yesterday and this morning, we’d summarize the bunch and save you some time. Overall, I’d say reviewers were happy, and seemingly the Rift has performed as, if not slightly better, than expected in the early going.

“I can report that while the Rift is a well-built hardware system brimming with potential, the first wave of apps and games available for it narrows the device’s likely users to hard-core gamers,” wrote Brian Chen, from the New York Times. “It is also rougher to set up and get accustomed to than products like smartphones and tablets.  Oculus will eventually need a larger, more diverse set of content to transcend its initial audience of gamer geeks”

“The Rift itself, while an engineering marvel, still just isn’t that good at convincing you you’re in an alternate reality,” wrote Geoffrey A. Fowler of The Wall Street Journal. “After the novelty wears off, using the 1.5-pound headset is about as awkward as sleeping on an airplane. It’s hard to avoid feeling queasy when virtual scenes move without your actual body. I couldn’t even last one entire race in “Project Cars,” a racing simulator.”

While many reviewing the device may have expected more than the average gamer in terms of the immersive aspects of the headset, others reviewing the Rift understood that despite a few shortcomings, this was the future of gaming and entertainment.  For instance The Verge gave the device a score of an 8 out of 10, and took positively to the design, the upcoming catalog of games, along with the future of Touch controllers, and the ability to play games in a seated position.   They also went as far as listing the seven games that they enjoyed the most, which included Adr1ft, Chronos, Darknet, EVE:Valkyrie, Pinball FX2, Radical-G: Racing Revolution, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, and Lost.

Edward C. Baig from USA Today, took a different approach, instead letting his son play with the device and basing his review partly off of the child’s reaction to the Rift.  While he did mention the high price ($599) as a turnoff, and had a few issues with the setup process, Baig’s 9-year-old son Sam thought the following of the device: “Oh my God, this is awesome, this is sick!”

Finally, Business Insider’s Steven Tweedie expressed his utter exuberance for the Rift in a write-up, which really shows how people who aren’t hardcore gamers may react to the device.

“After using the Rift on and off for the last week, it’s clear that this is the virtual reality experience we’ve been waiting for,” wrote Tweedie. “This isn’t the low-cost Google Cardboard or even the mid-range Samsung Gear VR headset. Armed with Facebook’s war chest of funding and the smartest minds in the VR industry, the Oculus team has crafted the best tool for escapism since the television and internet were born.”

As for what some of the more tech savvy bloggers had to say about the device, the complete rundown of reviews (mostly all positive)  from the likes of TechCrunch, Mashable, Gizmodo and others can be found here.  Let’s hear your own personal review in the Oculus Rift forum on VRTalk.com.